Collins-Franklin-Simpson football the day after

As I've said before I hate to talk about the officiating in any sporting event I cover, because hopefully the officials are trying to do their best, but some times it's just too hard to ignore.

That was definitely the case with the officiating crew at last night's Class 4A state football semifinal between Collins and host Franklin-Simpson.

And unfortunately the biggest play of the game came on the worst call(s) of the night.

On fourth-and-12 from the Titans' 22 early in the third quarter Franklin-Simpson quarterback Max Bennett threw to Jerrell Wickware at the 15. Wickware, then turned and threw the ball to his cousin, Darrius Wickware, who ran the final 15 yards into the end zone. The touchdown gave the Wildcats their first lead of the game, 14-9, and momentum.

I have two issues with play. The first is that, from my perspective, the lateral appeared to be an illegal forward lateral. I haven't seen any video of the play, though, so I'm not sure if that was the case or not. So I'll have to reserve judgment on the that.

My second issue, though, is that to me it sounded as if at least one official blew his whistle on the play, which would mean that the play should have been dead as soon as the whistle sounded. If that had happened the Titans would've taken possession of the ball.

It's hard to say that that one play decided the game, but on Collins' very next series it drove downfield for a touchdown. If the Titans had done that after taking over on downs they would've led 16-7 (since they likely would've kicked the extra point with an 8-point lead) and even a Wildcats' touchdown and two-point conversion wouldn't have been enough.

There were a couple of other poor calls, I thought, during the game as well as some bad spots of the football and that's not to mention the lack of a measurement (which appeared necessary) after one Collins fourth-down run.

Overall I was disappointed with the officiating, and the biggest reason for that is because it robbed the Collins kids of a spot in the state championship game. Overall it was just a disservice to the kids, and that's what bothers me most.